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AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES AS HABITAT

Status and Trends
agricultural landscapes remain important as habitat but show signs of stress
Concern, getting worse at a slow to moderate rate
only one indicator, but trend from indicator is clear
Medium confidence in finding

KEY FINDING 16. The potential capacity of agricultural landscapes to support wildlife in Canada has declined over the past 20 years, largely due to the intensification of agriculture and the loss of natural and semi-natural land cover.

This key finding is divided into two sections:

Land within the agricultural landscape of Canada includes a variety of cover types – pasture and rangeland, summerfallow, 24 types of cropland, and woodlots, wetlands, windbreaks, and other non-farmed areas.1, 2 Agricultural landscapes are important to biodiversity because they cover about 7% of Canada and provide habitat for over 550 species of terrestrial vertebrates,3 including approximately half of those assessed in 2004 as at risk nationally.4 Agricultural landscapes are concentrated in southern Canada, where biodiversity and numbers of species at risk are high and where ecosystem conversion is more extensive.

Photo: canola field © iStock.com/graphicjackson
Canola field

Key finding overview